"What does Jesus Christ do in the Eucharist? It is God who, as our Savior, offers himself each day for us to his Father's justice. If you are in difficulties and sorrows, he will comfort and relieve you. If you are sick, he will either cure you or give you strength to suffer so as to merit Heaven. If the devil, the world, and the flesh are making war upon you, he will give you the weapons with which to fight, to resist, and to win victory. If you are poor, he will enrich you with all sorts of riches for time and eternity. Let us open the door of his sacred and adorable Heart, and be wrapped about for an instant by the flames of his love, and we shall see what a God who loves us can do. O my God, who shall be able to comprehend?" –St. John Vianney
†Today's Meditation "If we do not die to ourselves, and if our holiest devotions do not incline us to this necessary and useful death, we shall bring forth no fruit worth anything, and our devotions will become useless. All our good works will be stained by self-love and our own will . . . We must choose therefore, among all the devotions to the Blessed Virgin, the one which draws us most toward this death to ourselves, inasmuch as it will be the best and the most sanctifying. For we must not think that all that shines is gold, that all that tastes sweet is honey, or that all that is easy to do and is done by the greatest number is the most sanctifying." —St. Louis De Montfort, p.40
An Excerpt From True Devotion to Mary
†Daily Verse "For ever, O Lord, thy word is firmly fixed in the heavens. Thy faithfulness endures to all generations; thou hast established the earth, and it stands fast. By thy appointment they stand this day; for all things are thy servants." –Psalm 119:89-91
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St. Benedict of Nursia
St. Benedict of Nursia (480-547 A.D.) and his twin sister, St. Scholastica, were born to a Roman nobleman and his wife in Nursia, Italy. He spent his childhood with his parents in Rome. As a young man he found in himself a strong desire to escape the trifling things of the world and serve God. He left his family and wealth and settled in the mountainous region of Subiaco. After three years living in solitude as a cave-dwelling hermit, he was asked to lead a monastery in the place of an abbot who had died. Benedict did as they asked, but his way of life was too extreme for the monks and they tried to poison him. He thwarted their evil designs by blessing the poisoned cup, rendering it ineffective. Benedict returned to his cave, where news of his sanctity and miracles began to spread. Soon a community of men surrounded him wanting to adopt his way of life. To house them Benedict established twelve monasteries, including the world-famous Monte Cassino, and gave them a rule of life to live by, known as the Rule of St. Benedict. His Rule—still observed by Benedictines today—helped form the civilization and culture of Europe. Because of the organization, structure, and discipline he brought to the monastic life, he is known as the Founder of Western Monasticism. He is the patron saint of monks, students, farmers, all of Europe, and more. He is also especially known for his intercession against poison, temptations, and witchcraft. His feast day is July 11th in the Latin rite, while the Benedictines celebrate his feast on March 21st.
Memorial of Saint Benedict, Abbot
• Readings for the Memorial of Saint Benedict, abbot
Reading 1 IS 1:10-17
Hear the word of the LORD, princes of Sodom! Listen to the instruction of our God, people of Gomorrah! What care I for the number of your sacrifices? says the LORD. I have had enough of whole-burnt rams and fat of fatlings; In the blood of calves, lambs and goats I find no pleasure. When you come in to visit me, who asks these things of you? Trample my courts no more! Bring no more worthless offerings; your incense is loathsome to me. New moon and sabbath, calling of assemblies, octaves with wickedness: these I cannot bear. Your new moons and festivals I detest; they weigh me down, I tire of the load. When you spread out your hands, I close my eyes to you; Though you pray the more, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood! Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil; learn to do good. Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan's plea, defend the widow.
Responsorial Psalm PS 50:8-9, 16BC-17, 21 AND 23
R. (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God. "Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you, for your burnt offerings are before me always. I take from your house no bullock, no goats out of your fold." R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God. "Why do you recite my statutes, and profess my covenant with your mouth, Though you hate discipline and cast my words behind you?" R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God. "When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it? Or do you think you that I am like yourself? I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes. He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me; and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God." R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
Alleluia MT 5:10
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel MT 10:34-11:1
Jesus said to his Apostles: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's enemies will be those of his household. "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. "Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man's reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple– amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward." When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples, he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.
Daily Meditation: Isaiah 1:10-17
Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil; learn to do good. (Isaiah 1:16-17)
A good baseball pitcher knows that you can't throw a strike with just your arm. You need to step forward with the opposite foot, engage your core muscles, and follow through with your other leg. If you don't engage your whole body like this, you'll likely end up throwing a wasted ball that the batter will easily hit out of the park.
In today's first reading, the prophet Isaiah is trying to explain a similar concept to the people of Jerusalem. He wants them to see that they are "throwing away" their sacrifices to the Lord, like the pitcher who only uses his arm. He knows that their sacrifices have not been coming from their whole hearts and minds. Yes, they have been bringing their offerings of "calves, lambs and goats" as the Law of Moses required, but they have not been pairing these sacrifices with the justice and mercy that God had demanded of them (Isaiah 1:11). And so God confronts them: "Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil; learn to do good" (1:16-17).
This is what a "thrown away" sacrifice looks like: an outward act of worship that doesn't flow from a heart of gratitude for God's goodness and a desire to be like him. It's what happens when you're just going through the motions in prayer, but your mind is somewhere else. It's also what happens when your actions during the day don't match up with your words in prayer. In the end, they become like that feeble baseball pitch—ineffective and easily batted away.
Think about the sacrifices you are making for the Lord: the time you are giving up to make it to Mass each weekend or the time you spend in daily prayer. Can you identify ways those sacrifices are moving you to live more like Jesus? Are there times when you catch yourself seeking the Lord halfheartedly in prayer? If you see a disconnect, ask the Lord to help you find a way to put more of your core—your heart and your soul—into it.
"Jesus, help me 'learn to do good,' both in my sacrifices for you and in the way I treat the people around me."
Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23 Matthew 10:34–11:1
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil; learn to do good."
The world glamorizes evil. They put lipstick on it. They put perfume on it. They put lots of gold on it. They put stories on it. If we only knew the atrocity of evil, the great sin against charity. Then we'd realize we live in a fake world. And the fakes ones tell the others they are the hypocrites. So who is true? What is truth? That is what everything hinges on...and we Christ followers believe Jesus is the truth of everything. Those in purgatory see things as they truly are, and how hard it is to be here, unable to see with the clarity they now see. And I speak of poor souls in purgatory, and the loving souls in Heaven.
We pray in Psalms: "Why do you recite my statutes, and profess my covenant with your mouth, Though you hate discipline and cast my words behind you?" To the upright I will show the saving power of God." I've noticed how parishes work, at least mine. And I get to see how parishioners act with the priest. Many love to tell the priest what to do, and the same people do not like to be told what to do. Others like to be treated like gold, and if the priest even looks at them funny, they will immediately leave the church. Imagine, this is the Father, and it is many times, not always, but we are called to obedience. And so, you have a few others who actually do what the priest says, and obedience counts much more, if done with true love, and that last part is the one I myself have a hard time doing...I do obedience, but do I truly love?
In today's Gospel we heard our Lord: ""Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword."
Yikes! He comes with a sword? What's all this talk about Jesus being the "Prince of Peace" and so forth? My letter opener on my desk shows the scripture "For the Word of God is living and active sharper than any double edged sword" Hebrews 4:12. The Word itself becomes something that is used to cut...to the heart, and to dispel the darkness in our lives. Therefore, we need the sword to trespass our very hearts, like Mary, our Lady of Sorrows. The Word cuts, and we need it more and more in our world to cut evil out of our lives. Our world is glamorizing evil more and more, with the greatest of acts in violence being nudity, and this is gross. Women are trained to dress in tight clothes or revealing clothes, and this is gross. What has happened to modesty? Who will train them in true beauty? Classy is beauty, nobility is beauty, wisdom is beauty, purity is beauty, perfection is beauty. And these are all the things we can use to describe Mother Mary, amen? And even more...humility and meekness...Jesus Christ the King of the Universe.
Whence a child decides to be holy, and the world is not holy, there will face opposition. And there our Lord says "Do Not Be Afraid", and "I AM with you".
"Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."
There is a part in the mass that we sing and pray "blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosana in the Highest".
Is it the priest? Is it the laity? The prophets? It is CHRIST. He speaks through people...and more clearly, in pure people, living purely for Christ, and these are the ones we should be helping to Heaven, and in doing so, helping ourselves to Heaven. If I had only a cup of cool water for one suffering torments. And these are the holy ones in suffering.
Lord, that we may be an instrument of Thy grace. May we become one, and may my death to self of all my desires, become a new life with You forever and ever. Amen.
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